Charles Quinn and six other fathers founded the Ardoyne Holy Cross (AHC) Boxing Club in 2003 as a way of getting youth off the streets and away from the sectarian conflict that has afflicted Belfast. They were moved to act by a suicide rate among teenage boys in Northern Ireland that was the highest in the entire United Kingdom.
In 2007, Charlie’s son Emmanuel, who has lived in the Washington, D.C. area since 2001, decided to bring together a group of friends to raise money to support boxing clubs in disadvantaged neighborhoods in the U.S. and Northern Ireland, and The Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project was born. On January 26, 2008 the first annual Belfast-Beltway Boxing Classic was held at the Westin City Center Hotel in Washington, D.C. and now takes place in both countries every year.
Boxing Clubs on both sides of the Atlantic provide a safe and structured environment and offer at-risk youth a crucial alternative to the streets. The boys and girls who train at the clubs not only learn the fundamentals of boxing, but also the importance of discipline, respect and responsibility.